More than one hundred attorneys, activists and lawmakers gathered for a panel discussion and reception on the subject of maternal mortality, sponsored by the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys and the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers, in conjunction with Ohio River South.
The event was a response to the crisis levels of maternal mortality across the state. Multiple studies have confirmed that Georgia suffers from the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, and a recent study committee reported that black mothers were three to four times more likely to die at childbirth than white mothers.
Elected officials, nonprofit leaders, advocates and citizens were all in attendance, which began with a moving address by Ayanna Smith, who recounted how she almost died while giving birth to her son.
She was followed by a panel discussion featuring Charles Johnson of 4Kira4Moms, Elisa Blasingame of Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia, and Breana Lipscomb with the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Finally, statehouse lawmakers including Representatives Mable Thomas, CaMia Hopson, Park Cannon, Rep. Valencia Stovall, Rep. Renitta Shannon, and Senator Tonya Anderson participated in a panel discussion about efforts to address the issue through policymaking.
The event closed on a powerful note, with each of the legislators reading a section of House Resolution 1083, which recognized February 6, 2020 as “Maternal Mortality in Georgia: An Epidemic for Black Women.”
More About Ohio River South
Ohio River South is proud to partner with community and political leaders to educate and empower people about issues that impact our region. We realize that healthcare is a sensitive topic that remains in focus at both the national and local levels. We believe that events like these can contribute to the conversation and help spur progressive action.